2 New Omicron variants are being followed

April 12, 2022

The World Health Organization is analyzing a few dozen cases of two new sub-variants of the Omicron strain to determine how contagious and dangerous they can be, according to Reuters.

The agency said it added BA.4 and BA.5 to its monitoring list because of its “additional mutations that need to be further studied to understand their impact on immune escape potential,” Reuters said.

All versions of Omicron have proven to be highly transferable. The BA.2 subvariant now represents about 94% of all sequenced cases, but does not appear to cause serious illness, Reuters said. Last week, the CDC said that BA.2 accounts for three-quarters of all COVID cases in the United States.

So far, only a few dozen cases of BA.4 and BA.5 have been discovered. Last week, the UK’s Health Security Agency said that BA.4 was discovered in South Africa, Denmark, Botswana, Scotland, and England by Jan. March 10 to 30, Reuters said.

All BA.5 cases were in South Africa last week, Reuters said, but the Botswana Ministry of Public Health said on Monday four cases of BA.4 and BA.5 were detected among people aged 30 to 50 who were fully vaccinated were and experienced mild symptoms. .

Tuesday, Tulio de Oliviera, Director of the Center for Epidemic Response and Innovation in South Africa, twittere that BA.4 and BA.5 genomes were also found in Belgium, Denmark and Germany.

“No reason for alarm yet and it is good that Europe is also following variants and lineages,” he tweeted.

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